Gender Differences in Intimate Partner Violence in Current and Prior Relationships

Zohre Ahmadabadi, Jackob M. Najman, Gail M. Williams, Alexandra M. Clavarino, Peter d’Abbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although much available research indicates that intimate partner violence (IPV) is male perpetrated, growing recent evidence suggests a gender symmetry model of family violence. This article examines gender differences in IPV in current and prior relationships reported by young adults. Data comprised 2,060 young adults (62.1% females) who participated in the 30-year follow-up of the Mater Hospital and University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP) in Brisbane, Australia. The Composite Abuse Scale was used to measure IPV during the last 12 months in the respondents’ most recent relationship. Similar proportions of males and females reported leaving their prior relationships. Both males and females who were not currently in a relationship reported experiencing much higher rates of IPV than those who were in a relationship. There were no differences in the past experience of IPV between males and females who were not currently in a relationship, but males in a current relationship reported they experienced most forms of IPV more often than did females. IPV typically involves both male and female perpetrators and victims. It does appear that the majority of relationships involving higher rates of IPV were dissolved. IPV was more likely to have occurred in relationships that ended than in relationships that persisted. Males more often remain in an abusive relationship and report experiencing higher rates of IPV in their current relationships compared with females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-937
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number1-2
Early online date14 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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